Meet Our Pastor

May 30th, 2022
Blessings to the Ethan UMC Church Family,

This past Sunday, my family and I had the honor of meeting your Pastor Parish Relations committee.  We enjoyed getting to hear and see the Ethan church.  I am excited to see where God is at work in our lives and the rural United Methodist communities.  I look forward to beginning my call to ministry in the Ethan United Methodist Church serving as your Pastor. I am sharing this letter of introduction so you can learn about myself and my family. 

I am a South Dakotan.  I was born in Huron and moved throughout my Dad’s Farm Bureau insurance career.  We lived in Huron, Wessington Springs, Brookings, Aberdeen, and Yankton.  I have grown up in the United Methodist churches.  Since a very young age I enjoyed helping and teaching with Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, working in the nursery.  It was in my junior high and high school years that I recognized God was inviting me to serve in a church.  In High School, I felt God calling me into Children’s Ministry.  I graduated from Aberdeen Central High School.  My husband, Terry and I met in high school and were married while attending college.  We both attended South Dakota State University.  Go Jackrabbits!  I was very active in Air Force Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC).  I enjoyed being a counselor for a week each summer at Storm Mountain Church Camp outside of Rapid City, SD.  In the spring of 1999, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development Child and Family Studies, a minor in Aerospace Studies and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force.  While serving our country we were stationed at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; Langley AFB, Virginia; Offutt AFB, Nebraska; I deployed to Baghdad Iraq from September 2005 to February 2006, and our final assignment was Bolling AFB Washington D.C. 

We had two of our sons during this time.  Logan was born at Mountain Home AFB (2001) and Rylan was born at Offutt AFB (2005). 
In the spring of 2007, I separated from the Air Force under a downsizing program as I felt God calling me to focus on my role as Mom.   We returned to South Dakota to be centrally located between both sets of grandparents.  We choose Plankinton as their development board had an offer we could not pass up – free lots to build a home on within a year.  Our home was finished in December 2007.  Our 3rd son, Teagan, completed our family in the spring of 2010. Since returning home to SD, I have worked at a daycare, Aurora County Court House, the Plankinton School and currently at the Plankinton/White Lake UMCs.  I am currently the Youth Director and Office Administrator for both churches and the facility manager at the Plankinton church. 

My husband, Terry works in Kimball at Midstate Communications as an information technology administrator. Logan and his wife, Lydia, live in Dubuque, IA with their 18 month old son, Maverick.  They both graduated from SDSU with associate degrees earlier this month.  Rylan will be a Senior at Plankinton High School.  He keeps busy as summer lifeguard, weightlifting, playing football, basketball, and running track.  Teagan will be a Seventh grader this coming fall.  He enjoys baseball, swimming, basketball, football, track and playing percussion in band. We have a cat named Smokey and black labradoodle dog named Baer.

While attending my first annual conference in June 2018 I felt God’s presence and a nudge, however my inner voice told me that God could not use my state of brokenness.  I continued to pray, be in Bible Study group, and discern.  This past fall I heard God saying I needed to take a step of faith and do ministry full time.  I kept hearing the phrase “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.  I visited with our District Superintendent earlier this year and started the process to become a local licensed pastor.  I will begin my Master of Divinity at Kairos University very soon. I am looking forward to meeting all of you and see how God is working in your lives.
God’s blessings 
Pastor Tara Bush
Cell: (605)-550-0022